Self-Care IS Self-Love

and how it is also the best way to begin your healing journey

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“Your heart is the size of an ocean. Go find yourself in its hidden depths.” ~ Rumi

Sometime around the second week of February, I was out shopping with a friend for birthday gifts for my daughter who was turning 17 at the end of February. This friend suddenly asked while browsing, “what are you getting for valentine’s day? what gifts are you giving on valentine’s day?” I very matter-of-factly replied, “Every year I gift myself on Valentine’s day.” She looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language. I excitedly exclaimed to her puzzled look “Self love baby!” 😊🩷

Self-love is one of my favorite topics to talk about. One of the reasons that I love talking about it so much is because its such a wholesome topic and also that self-love is different for everyone. The BEST thing about it is, it facilitates massive healing shifts within.

So, How do we go about loving ourself in that healing way? Where do we start the self-love journey?

Photo by kevin laminto on Unsplash

While it seems so simple and obvious — self-care actually is the simplest and most easiest way to nurture self-love.

This truth was not obvious to me growing up.

I grew up in a household where both my parents worked hard to make ends meet. There was little time for rest and relaxation for them. It was only when I grew up and was almost an adult that I saw my mother and father take some time to take care of themselves.

But that too was a requirement for the new and improved social status that needed to be maintained. The nice house and great life then, was not only because it provided a comfort and safe space, but was also for the social status. As a result of which they were still constantly tired and exhausted.

I know they tried their best as parents to give us a good life, but it came at a cost. The cost was their mental health and peace of mind. And while the house was big and the things were lovely, there was no time or energy to actually love or feel loved. Thankfully, my siblings and I had a very close bond, so that love helped us through so many challenges.

Understanding Self-Love

Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash

When you grow up in an environment like that, you don’t have a clue about what self-love is. When I did begin my deep dive into all things healing and mental health, I came across these novel concepts. By then I would laugh and shun self-love as being gravely indulgent and selfish. It took me years to come to this space of unapologetic self-love and to realize how neccessary it is on this healing journey.

When I moved out and began living my life in the world, that was when I really discovered the magic of self-care — the thought of filling your day with things you loved or found intentionally relaxing — was so alien to me. So in between divorce proceedings and a severely broken heart, I found self-care. I started doing things I loved, I enjoyed, I found relaxing.

Self-Care is Self-Love

Photo by Valerie Elash on Unsplash

Self-care was literally the first and simplest step into self-love and healing for me.

Learning that I could do kind and loving things for myself just to make myself happy and feel loved… that blew my mind and changed my life. It made me feel like my happiness was in my hands, and not it anyone else’s. It made me feel like I was the star⭐ of my own life(not in a self indulgent way but more in a self acknowledging and self respecting sort of way)

Sometimes Self-love is TV, pajamas and popcorn 🩷

Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

A few days ago, I shared with someone that “Sometimes self-love is TV, pajamas, and popcorn” and how I was so excited to start the new season of Outlander (I’m currently on season 6!)

While self-care is not just that, its the intentionality of putting myself first and making my needs a priority over everything else, that is HUGE for me.

For me to intentionally put my phone down, turning off my laptop, to free myself of responsibility for a few hours, to get in my cozy home jammies and make popcorn and be present while I’m watching something…. It doesn’t happen as often as it should.

I work all the time. I have trouble taking breaks and letting myself rest. I feel like I always have to be “on”. (Even though I know better!) I am the queen of multitasking, most of the time when I watch tv — I’m simultaneously doing something else. TV and popcorn was my self-care that day and I delighted in every moment of that self loving energy.

In Conclusion

I don’t care what your self-care looks like day-to-day. I just care that you do it and that you’re making time for things that make you feel good or are good for you.

Self-care is different for everyone and that’s okay. Just allow yourself to nurture self-love with small acts of self-care daily.

with love,

🩷If you’d like 1-on-1 counseling sessions and spiritual guidance with me, come on over here.

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Zeenat Merchant Syal, M.A, M.Sc
Know Thyself, Heal Thyself

Psychologist & Spiritual Counselor who loves to write on Mental,Emotional&Spiritual Health while sipping on Coffee. 💌 https://tinyurl.com/4t7uyb7k